Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Darned Time Change"

It seems half the people I talk to don't like the time change.

Why do we observe Daylight Saving Time? The simple answer is to save on energy costs.
One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity. Newer studies, however, are challenging long-held reason.
In general, energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.
In the average home, 25% of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.
Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country’s electricity usage by about 1% EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.
Benjamin Franklin proposed Daylight Saving Time as an American delegate in Paris in 1784. The idea didn’t really catch on in the United States until World War I, in an effort to save on artificial lighting costs. The same thing happened during World War II.
After the war, states individually chose whether to observe daylight saving time and when they wanted to begin it during the year. As you can imagine, this just caused a lot of confusion, especially for travelers and those of us in the news business.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided the basic framework for alternating between Daylight Saving Time and standard time, which we now observe in the United States. But Congress can’t seem to resist tinkering with it.
For example, in 1973 Daylight Saving Time was observed all year, instead of just the spring and summer. Again in 1986, Congress declared that DST would begin at 2 AM on the first Sunday in April and end at 2 AM on the last Sunday in October.
In 2007, Congress voted to switch the end of daylight saving time to the first Sunday in November to offer trick-or-treaters more daylight time to venture into the streets, even though most children wait until after dark to go out anyway.
While most states observe the spring forward / fall back switch in time, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Arizona do not change the clock.
However, the Navajo Nation in Arizona does participate in daylight saving time and will roll the clock back Sunday. The Hopi Reservation, entirely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, does not observe daylight saving time, creating a “doughnut hole” in time in the middle of Arizona.
When’s the next time change? Fall back Sunday, November 2, 2014.



  1. That is one more thing I like about living in Sask.. Same standard time all year. I fail to see how getting up an earlier in the morning is going to save me any electricity. I'd have to turn the lights on and use even more than I do now.

  2. LOL, to think that the government would have gone out of its way and mandate to interfere with our daily life is naive, ludicrous, and just libertarian, especially when you consider that by the 60s, Americans had already spontaneously switched to LED lightbulbs and massively installed solar panels to both reduce their electricity usage and carbon footprint. They didn't need any incentive to see the good common sense of it.

    No, you just got one letter wrong, the simple truth is that the government wanted to interfere with our dairy life, because it is well known that every March 9th, leap year or not, cows already wake up naturally exactly one hour earlier in most countries and states. It was a matter of adapting the human calendar to the cows' so that our butter could taste the same all year round.

    As a side-effect, DST was also very effective at making sure that people dumb enough to get lost in the wild could not find their way and reproduce this trait in the general population. Before DST, you could just point the hour hand of your watch to the Sun, and the median line between the hour hand and the 12 o'clock position on your watch gave you the direction of the South, which gave you by inference the three other cardinal points. Even before DST, some clever governments like France had already messed up this simple rule by advancing legal standard time one hour from Meridian time, so that you couldn't use the simple 12 o'clock. By now, most governments have banned analog watches with hands to make triple sure you had no way to find your direction.

  3. From Chris or Iseedit "A 2009 Michigan State University published by the American Psychological Association study showed that DST has adverse effects on the American workplace.

    "Following (the start and end of DST), employees slept 40 min less, had 5.7% more workplace injuries, and lost 67.6% more work days because of injuries than on non phase change days," explained the study, which looked at mining injuries between 1983 and 2006 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health."